University of Oregon fan Patrick Leonard searched the ticket reseller website StubHub on New Year's Day for a good deal on college football championship game tickets.
To his surprise, Leonard found four tickets for $414.84 each and bought them for $1,659.36 to fulfill a promise to his 12-year-old son.
Leonard told his son that they were going to see the Oregon Ducks in the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with his daughter, 9, and a family friend, noted Oregon Live.
On Jan. 2, Leonard was shocked to find that StubHub billed his American Express credit card $16,059.36, even though his phone receipt read "$16,59.36."
Leonard called StubHub and emailed the site his screenshots of the phone receipt. Leonard didn't hear back, so he emailed StubHub on Jan. 3 for a resolution because he was looking to buy plane tickets from Virginia to Texas.
However, StubHub sent Leonard an email that said his ticket purchase had been canceled.
Leonard says a senior supervisor in StubHub's Major Events Group called him on Monday to tell him that the charge on his American Express card would be refunded and that he would be credited with $1,600 for a future ticket buy on StubHub.
"It's not a totally perfect process," Alison Salcedo, head of U.S. consumer public relations for StubHub, told Oregon Live. "It's really rare that we have errors, but errors do happen. We apologized to him."
Salcedo claimed only one other customer had a similar experience when buying tickets for the same game via the website.
However, Leonard said that a StubHub customer service rep previously told him that the issue "had affected others."
"We're continuing to investigate the issue, and if any other customers were affected, our customer service team will be in touch with those individuals directly," Salcedo said.
Leonard also noted a 2013 incident, reported by Deadspin.com, in which a fan bought a ticket for the World Series for $6. StubHub said it was an accident, but provided replacement tickets in a comparable location.
Leonard wrote on his blog at Kinja.com, which owns Deadspin.com, about his experience and posted a video (below) of his phone receipt.
The University of Oregon alumnus considered legal action against StubHub, but doesn't believe it could be settled before the game. He doesn't plan to use the $1,600 in StubHub credit.